Getting back into the swing of the work has been interesting. One of the things that I don’t particularly enjoy about the first of the year at work is our yearly reviews. I always feel like all the work that I have accomplished over the past year has to be substantiated and well documented in our yearly evaluation so that I get the raise I feel I deserve when they hand those things out in March. The worst part about the yearly review is that the company I work for is big on the “self-evaluation” concept. Basically, I have to rate myself on a scale from one to five on a whole slew of topics that have been decided for me. Last year’s evaluation included goals that I worked with my supervisor to formulate; this year’s evaluation has no such thing, we were handed team goals that we all tried to strive to reach together. I like this team approach to this in many respects, but my concern is that I write applications and support systems that provide the rest of the team the ability to reach their goals. My goals don’t exactly match theirs, but because I am part of the same group, I have to play along with the rest of the crowd.
It makes writing my own self-evaluation a little more of a challenge than I am in the mood for.
I get the concept of writing a self-evaluation and rating myself on a scale from one to five. I know folks that rate themselves as all fives, which I find ludicrous. I think I’m realist will the scoring I do, but last year I had one or two points knocked down a point (from a 4 to 3) so that I would have room to grow in the future. Keeping this in mind, I’m being even more realistic this year, but I’m afraid that if I score myself to low (on the valid points where I know I have room to grow), that no one will disagree and bump me up a little bit and then I’ll get less of a bonus than I probably would have gotten had I been a little more confident with my contributions.
We have another section of the evaluation that is called the “values” portion; here we rate ourselves on a dozen points or so on how we demonstrate the values of the company and we must give a specific point or reason supporting our number rating on a scale of 1 to 5. The values section includes statements like “I come to work with a positive attitude everyday.” If a person is a quiet person that kind of works alone in his cubicle and doesn’t say much to the rest of team on a daily basis, how does he or she support their number rating? “I didn’t slap anyone on my way in or out of the building today.” “I confined defecation habits to the rest room.” Would it surprise you if I admitted that these statements did cross my mind as I was working on my self-evaluation this morning? In a year that has been plagued by a feeling of being completely overwhelmed, I worry that I don’t have enough of a positive attitude and that I’ll score low, be scorned and then be relegated to a cubicle in a cold part of the building where the pipes clank. I suppose having a smile on my face every morning is a good way to support that company value.
I guess because I have worked in many situations where there were no evaluations at all that at least I feel like I’m being recognized for my contributions to the great scheme of the big corporation I work for. But on the other hand, it’s not easy to make your number stand out when you’re surrounded by 15,000 other numbers, and because of that, I just want to make sure I give myself the right number so that it stays the right number.